Jul 12

Love & Rage Helmet

Love / Rage

I started this blog just over two years ago.

One of my first posts featured a custom-painted bike helmet. This here is my second one.

At the time, I was inspired by finally learning to bike the summer before – and also by my love of graphics by Justseeds. Like getting back on a bike, I wanted to push myself to try something I had long given up on – making an “art” with my own hands (or at least, not solely with a computer).

This new helmet idea didn’t require the same stencil-painting technique, just lots of drawing (and erasing) directly on the helmet with a pencil as a guide for a painting, and some much appreciated help from Sheila with the anarchist heart on the front.

Some fierce friends talk about putting on armour for everyday battles – interactions with bosses, misogynist street harassers, faceless bureaucracies, capitalist vampires, and the like.

This helmet was made with that in mind, as a piece of armour imbued with the spirit of love and rage.

Front / Back

Jul 10

Autonomy Helmet

Since I started biking semi-regularly I decided that it was important to get a helmet – but not just any helmet, a customized one!¬†While looking for ideas, I came to this image on Palestinian and Zapatista struggles for autonomy by Josh MacPhee from the Justseeds artists’ cooperative.

Using Josh’s image and a basic helmet from MEC, this is what I made:

So, process-wise, because I am not very confident in my hand-drawing skills, i) I taped up the helmet with masking tape, ii) then taped on print-outs of the design on top of the tape layer, and iii) cut out the areas to be painted with an exacto knife, cutting through the paper print-out and the tape, and leaving a “guard-rail” of uncut tape that is also great for producing sharp lines. I then iv) painted two layers of acrylic paint in the gaps, and v) peeled-off the tape. After some vi) paint touch-ups the last step was vii) spraying the helmet with a varnish, adding a little protection and shine!

Adjusting 2D print-outs to fit the curve of the helmet was the most challenging aspect of this process. I tended to split the faces into three horizontal pieces – top, face, and bottom – and as you can see, the scarf on the Intifada fighter rides a little low compared to the original image. If I were to do this again, I would try drawing onto the tape layer with the aid of a projector, or filling in gaps by hand with paint and tape guards.